Writer: Benjamin Percy
Art: Juan José Ryp, Frank D’Armata, VC’s Cory Petit, Leinil Francis Yu, Romulo Fajardo Jr., Jay Bowen, and Tom Muller
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: October 26th, 2022
The Mark of the Beast! On defense or offense, Wolverine is Krakoa’s weapon. But that doesn’t mean he attacks where Beast aims…and McCoy’s latest ask is going to set Logan on a startling and revelatory path set to redefine his future as Wolverine #26 by Benjamin Percy kicks off!
Finally, we can be decoupled from Deadpool and A.X.E.: Judgment Day so Percy can get back on board with Wolverine and the stories he was pitching when he first began this run. And what better way to start than reincorporating a fan favorite from this very run, Jeff Bannister? I absolutely love this relationship between these two and how average and mundane these two make it. So, this was a clever touch by Percy to shake off the cobwebs surrounding the past couple of issues and kick off Wolverine #26 with something that just works.
Additionally, Percy picks more at the evil Beast angle throughout Wolverine #26 causing doubt within the readers that’s just good storytelling. This nugget has been dangling around Beast in X-Force for months now (feels like a year) where Krakoa was infiltrated… and so was Beast. Plus, his temper and motives have seemed off for quite some time. Therefore, by combining the Beast angle, Bannister, and now Legacy House, it’s only a matter of time before Xeno weasels it’s way back into the fold. Therefore, this seems like the perfect story to kickstart and culminate what’s been happening in Percy’s run to date.
The only real hiccup I can provide is that Wolverine #26 was a bit low-key until the end. It was pretty slow-moving and didn’t have much action until the issue wrapped. Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing compared to the last couple of issues. To quote Wolverine (which is basically Percy talking here), he states in this issue “if your attention is focused constantly on world-shaking events, you get blind to the world itself.” And that’s the point of Wolverine #26. Let’s bring it back, calm it down, and refocus with a good, solid story that’s not surrounding an event. And that’s what we begin with in Wolverine #26. It’s not Percy’s best issue or beginning for that matter. However, it’s pretty tight compared to what we’ve gotten these past few months causing some mild excitement from this reviewer.
Readers, we get some new talent in the book to add even more excitement to spice things up. Juan José Ryp and Frank D’Armata lead the charge with some amazing opening spreads showcasing past battles with Wolverine and other heroes that are simply stunning. If Ryp is reading this, please give us more of these spreads. They were lights out. The detail was outstanding, the coloring was sharp, and the texture looked as though I could pick it up right off the page.
Additionally, I appreciate that Ryp doesn’t hide from drawing faces with detail. Many artists tend to find ways of masking the detail and making characters’ faces appear almost flat. But not Ryp. There is emotion in the character’s reactions, especially anger and pain which you’ll see as you read Wolverine #26. However, my favorite rendering of the issue is Ryp’s take on Beast. This Beast looks rough and almost gargantuan. Formidable but older. I can’t help but hope that Percy continues the massive swerve with Beast and it’s not a hokey switch-a-roo in the end. Give fans some evil Beast and let Ryp go at it! I think fans will love this combo and talk about it for months to come.
If you’re like me and have been dreading Wolverine for the past couple of months, I think that dread is over! Percy kicks off the Beast Agenda by playing at some of his plot threads and weaving minor bits and pieces of them together in a subtle way until the very end. The excitement doesn’t resonate immediately but Percy uses Wolverine #26 to build a strong foundation first before the story gets out of hand.
But that’s not all. I love the shake-up in the art team and absolutely love the detail and complexity Ryp and his team provide to the story. The coloring is rich and deep which made the comic so much easier to read and feel important. If you’ve hopped off Wolverine, I strongly suggest you get back on the gravy train with biscuit wheels while you still can. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!